It wouldn't be a modern season of The Bachelor without the casting of a former pageant queen. For Matt James, it's Mari Pepin — Miss Maryland 2019 and Miss USA 2019 finalist. She's friends with Alayah Benavidez, who was known for stirring the pot on Peter Weber's season, which means she's bound to shake things up on her own. According to Chris Harrison, Mari "did her best to steer clear of drama," but those efforts may have been for naught. Here's what else to know about Mari.
Mari's Job & Pageant History
Mari had a long career in the pageant world. According to her Pageant Planet profile, she won the title of Miss Maryland Teen USA in 2014 and represented the state at that year's Miss Teen USA competition. She went on to win the 2019 Miss Maryland title and ultimately competed against Alayah and another former contestant from Weber's season, Victoria Paul, at Miss USA. Alayah actually referred her to be on The Bachelor.
Since closing the curtain on her pageant days, Mari is putting her communications degree to work (she went to Towson University, per The Washingtonian) as a marketing director. In June, she unveiled the launch of her own social media management firm, Innovessa, on Instagram, but the company's profile is currently set to private.
Mari Was Born In Puerto Rico
Growing up, she moved around the country due to her dad's position in the military. She's fluent in Spanish and has studied French and American Sign Language, per her Pageant Planet bio. In the above Miss Teen USA interview, she said one of her goals is to have her own TV show. After being on The Bachelor, she's one step closer to that dream.